Suggestions, Comments, and Complaints

We aim to provide the best possible care and service for all our patients, but there may be times when you feel this has not happened. If you have a concern or complaint about the service you have received from a member of the practice team, please complete our Feedback form.

We hope that most issues can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. We always endeavour to resolve issues and concerns before they become complaints.

If, however, you remain dissatisfied, then you may wish to make a formal complaint, ideally as soon after the incident or event as possible. We operate a practice complaints procedure that meets national criteria as part of an NHS system for dealing with complaints. We are not however, able to deal with questions of legal liability or compensation.

Who can complain?

If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, to comply with medical confidentiality we have to know that you have their permission to do so. For us to deal with the complaint, a signed authorisation must be provided by the patient, unless the patient in incapable (due to illness) to do so. If the patient is under 16 then you must have the legal authority to complain on their behalf.

How to complain

Complaints can be made orally or in writing to Susan Hunter. They should be made within twelve months of the event. For a complaint outside this timescale, please talk to us and we will advise whether we are able to investigate.

What we will do

We will provide an acknowledgement of your complaint within 3 days (or as soon as reasonably practicable).

We aim to investigate your complaint within 10 working days (or as soon as reasonably practicable) from when you spoke to us or we received your letter. We will then be in a position to send you a written explanation and if it was made orally we will provide you with a summary of the details taken.

As part of the investigation, we aim to

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong.
  • Make sure you received an apology where this is appropriate.
  • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.

As part of the process, we may also ask if we can meet with you to talk things through, endeavouring to resolve things with you. This is all known as local resolution.

Can I discuss things with anyone outside the practice?

If you would prefer not to deal direct with the practice regarding the complaint, you can contact NHS England on:

Tel: 0300 311 22 33

Who will do this on your behalf

If you need help with making your complaint, the Health Complaints Advocacy Service can provide free impartial independent information advocacy and support to members of the public wishing to make a formal complaint about the National Health Service.

The local provider to Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire is POhWER ICAS, who can be contacted on:

Tel: 0845 456 1082

What if I am still not happy?

If you remain unhappy after the local resolution, you can ask the Health Service Ombudsman to review your case. The Ombudsman will initially check that everything has been done to resolve the matter as part of the Local Resolution. Therefore before deciding to refer to the Ombudsman please talk to us to see if we can resolve your issues again. The Health Service Ombudsman can be contacted on:

Tel: 0345 015 4033